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Making fitness ‘fit’ into everyday activities

October 24, 2012

by First 5 California

The earlier children are encouraged to be physically active, the more likely they’ll stay active as they get older, providing a strong foundation for a lifetime of health. Young kids need 60 minutes of active play every day, but it doesn’t have to be all at once. It’s the total amount of time that counts, so add it up!

Children help Michelle Obama with the White House vegetable garden
Plus, physical activity for kids under 5 is more than organized sports. It can be as simple as incorporating fitness into everyday activities.

So get your kids moving with these tips from First 5 California:

Encourage kids to help with active household chores: Ask your child to help with age-appropriate household chores like putting toys away, sweeping the floor with a small broom or walking with you while you take out the trash.

Errands as exercise: Walk more and drive less when running errands. If you have to drive, park as far away as possible. Added perk: It’s easier to find a parking space!

Walk and shop: Encourage your child to walk beside you in the grocery store instead of riding in the shopping cart. Climb the stairs while shopping instead of using the escalator too.

Plant a garden: Have your kids help plant a vegetable garden and keep it thriving by watering, pulling weeds and picking the fresh veggies. Gardening is a great way for kids to build strength and flexibility while also learning about healthy food choices.

Make reading more active: Have kids actively participate in story time instead of sitting. For example, if you read a book with animal characters, ask them to leap like a frog or hop like a bunny just like the animals in the book. It’s a fun way to get kids moving and enjoying reading too!

Turn off the tube: The more time kids spend in front of a TV or computer screen, the less they actively play. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under age 2 and less than two hours of quality programming a day for older kids.

Make physical activity fun: Figure out what activity your child truly enjoys, such as taking the dog on a walk, dancing, kicking a ball, swimming or jumping rope. Make sure your child has regular opportunities to engage in that activity.

For more tips on raising active kids, visit


37 thoughts on “Making fitness ‘fit’ into everyday activities

  1. Physical Fitness

    Fitness for many means long, sweaty aerobic routines and heavy weight lifting. However, fitness can be an enjoyable part of your life with just a few minor changes into your lifestyle. For example, something as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator can add a new dimension to your fitness routine. The following article will offer lots of advice on how to make healthy changes to your daily life without the need of going to the gym daily.

  2. Tiffany

    I really like the spin on this article. Chores as exercise is like killing two birds with one stone! A great way to get fit and healthy and also fulfil daily tasks.

  3. Roshlyn

    Through reading out this post I've learned effective lessons and importance of fit fitness. Though I like to do everyday physical activity because it's helps me significantly to encourage myself for further works of the each day. Thanks.
    physical activity for children

  4. Paul

    Encouraging physical activity in children isn't difficult considering they are already filled with so much energy. So I always encourage my children to exercício with me when I workout. They are always enthusiastic about it. Great post, filled with insightful information. I will definitely have to encourage them to be more active with their chores :)

  5. William Roldan

    If you like any outdoor sports like football, baseball, cricket, badminton, you can play any of those sports for 30-40 minutes. It will become more than enough physical exercise for a day.

  6. fat thighs

    "The earlier children are encouraged to be physically active, the more likely they’ll stay active as they get older, providing a strong foundation for a lifetime of health."

    - right. Well, during our early years our parents did not encourage us to become physically fit and active… that is why we are really finding it hard to lose weight and get rid of our fat thighs.

  7. Joy

    People working infront of the computer lacks exercise and so they are more stressed than those working with strenuous movements and sweating.

  8. coasteering Cornwall

    Read this post really i got some idea to keep fit and do some work or give them a lesson both at a time to kids.To physically fit my kids i give him time to play football,cricket. But really you provide a awesome idea. Thanks.

  9. Boca Fitness Center

    Thank you for this Post!! I agree with this article.
    for many parents it is simply easier to tell the kids to sit and watch TV because it makes them stay still and quiet; but what they don't realize is that the number of overweight children is growing by the minute.
    little things like taking out the trash, doing chores etc.. will help kids to stay active and later want to do other physical activities.

  10. Best Treadmills

    It's frustrating as a parent of kids now in their 20's who grew up playing outside all the time to see THEIR kids now sitting in front of the TV or playing on the ipad all day. What happened to OUTSIDE?

  11. Jenny Hunt

    I am glad to know your writing about the healthy fitness activities. Which is very handful one review to me in my eyes. Your physical activity for kids under 5 is more than organized sports conception is very delightful to me. Thanks for such kind of knowledgeable writeup.


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